College - Iowa State
Aaron Nelson enters his 12th season as the head athletic trainer, only the second in team history after replacing Suns Ring of Honor member Joe Proski in July 2000. When hired, he was the second-youngest head athletic trainer in the NBA. Prior to his promotion, Nelson served as the Suns’ assistant athletic trainer beginning in 1993.
Included in his role are the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and assisting in the travel operation of the team.
Nelson, who was named the Joe O’Toole NBA Athletic Trainer of the Year and the Trainer of the Year by the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association for 2009, is certified and licensed as an athletic trainer, performance enhancement specialist (PES) and corrective exercise specialist (CES). He is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), Arizona Athletic Trainers Association (AZATA), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA). In the spring of 2010, Nelson was appointed to serve on the Arizona Board of Athletic Training. Nelson served as the athletic trainer for the USA Basketball Men’s Select Team that helped prepare the 2007 USA Senior National Team for the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas.
Following graduation from Iowa State University in December 1992, Nelson spent the spring 1993 semester as a graduate assistant at Arizona State University. While an undergraduate, he was a student athletic trainer for four years under NATA Hall of Famer Frank Randall. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education with an emphasis on athletic training and a minor in health. Nelson, who is a member of the Advisory Board for the National Academy of Sports Medicine, received his Master of Science degree in exercise science from California University at Pennsylvania.
In the summer of 2004, Nelson completed a two-week volunteer internship with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in the sports medicine department at the Olympic training facility in Chula Vista, Calif., working primarily with track and field and Paralympic athletes.
The Manning, Iowa native is the brother-in-law of former Suns guard Jeff Hornacek. He and wife Jessica have two sons, Andrew (4) and Logan (2) and a daughter due in early February.